The Metallurgy Russia and Litmash Russia trade fairs originally scheduled for 9 to 11 June 2020 will be postponed to next year – to 8 – 10 June 2021, to be precise. The two metal trade fairs have been successfully organised by Metal Expo/Russia in cooperation with Messe Düsseldorf GmbH and its Russian subsidiary Messe Düsseldorf Moscow at the Moscow Exhibition Centre Krasnaya Presnya for some ten years now.
"Against the backdrop of the most recent developments in terms of COVID-19 the re-scheduling of the two metal trade fairs was inevitable – but the only right decision to take in view of the health and safety of our exhibitors, visitors and members of staff," says Friedrich-Georg Kehrer, Global Portfolio Director Metals and Flow Technologies at Messe Düsseldorf, and goes on to say: "With this move we are complying with the recommendations made by the Russian Ministry of Health as well as of the crisis team of the German Federal Government."
Underlining this decision Alexey Efimov, General Manager of Metal Expo, says: "The effects of the Corona crisis are currently making personal exchange and networking among businesspeople impossible. This means that a crucial characteristic of trade fairs is lost. We take this fact into account by postponing the two trade fairs. Needless to say, our customers can rest assured: next year they will be in for a programme rich in themes, of current relevance to the industry and tuned to the needs of our exhibitors and visitors. For the time being, however, the health of our exhibitors, visitors, employees and families and friends are centre stage."
The exhibitor registrations will also stay valid for the new dates. The person for exhibitors to contact at Messe Düsseldorf is Caroline Schmidt (SchmidtCa@messe-duesseldorf.de).
In light of these changes, Foundry-Planet took the opportunity to speak with Friedrich-Georg Kehrer (Global Portfolio Director, Messe Düsseldorf)
FP: Just two months ago we hoped that the events in June 2020 could take place, now the trade fairs in Moscow also have to be postponed to the coming year. How do you assess the pandemic in Russia and how will the economy there adjust to it?
In the past few weeks we have of course carefully observed and analyzed the situation in Russia caused by the corona virus (SARS-CoV-2). In view of the dynamic and highly volatile development, we as the trade fair organizer had no choice but to postpone the two trade fairs. Like many other countries, Russia is currently facing major challenges. The sheer size of this country alone means uncertainties and difficulties that we can hardly imagine in Germany. Of course, this also applies to the economy, which has to deal with challenges that were previously unimaginable. But now the primary focus is on health. Here the economy has to subordinate itself.
FP: Metallurgy Russia and Litmash Russia are undoubtedly among the events that reach a rather closed market and that is why they are so valued and important. What was the reaction from the exhibitors?
Of course, the exhibitors would have wished Metallurgy Russia and Litmash Russia to be successful again. In view of the current situation, this could not be guaranteed. Here it was important for our exhibitors to pull the ripcord. Our exhibitors not only accept this decision - they expressly approve of it.
FP: How does a large trade fair company with a global presence manage the current chaos of appointments in trade fairs and congresses and how will the additional burden be prepared in the coming year?
You are absolutely right: This phase is an absolute novelty for Messe Düsseldorf - as it is for all other trade fair organizers - and it is not easy to act. In this crisis, however, it once again proves how well our global management is positioned. The coordination with our partners works very well, the entire workflow runs smoothly - and the coordination with the authorities relevant in this crisis is also right.
FP: The GMTN 2019 in Düsseldorf was a great success and one of the last big events for the industry, possibly for a long time. How does a situation like Corona affect the trade fair company and can the business be compensated for later when companies and people want to find personal contact again and feel the trade fair experience
Messe Düsseldorf - like many other companies - will adjust its forecast for fiscal year 2020, which was planned as one of the most cyclically successful, extremely downwards. At the moment, we cannot make any specific statements about any financial effects, tax effects, distributions or other measures to deal with the situation: We are at the beginning of our financial year, sound out the current situation, think through various scenarios and focus primarily on a presence for ours To ensure customers in the context of the shifts and to protect the health of our workforce.